TransCanada Corp launches US$15-billion lawsuit against U.S. government for rejecting Keystone XL – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – January 7, 2016)

CALGARY – TransCanada Corp. said Wednesday it intends to file a challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking US$15-billion in damages from the United States government over President Barack Obama’s denial of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In addition, the Calgary-based company filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court in Houston claiming Obama’s decision to deny construction of Keystone XL exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution.

In a 27-page notice of intent to pursue the NAFTA challenge, the Calgary-based pipeline company said Obama’s denial was politically driven, directly contrary to the conclusions of own administration’s studies, and in violation of U.S. obligations under the agreement.

After seven years of review involving massive documentation, scientific justification and billions in spending by TransCanada, Obama denied the permit Nov. 6, explaining: “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change, and frankly approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.”

The announcement was made just before the UN Climate Change summit in Paris, where Obama played a leadership role to encourage a global agreement to reduce global warming.

It was the first time the U.S. denied a permit for a cross-border pipeline – and the first time it used such rationale, TransCanada said late Wednesday.

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